An Ad Hoc wireless network for situational awareness

Maggie Cheng, Yiyuan J. Zhao

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper presents the concept and studies connectivities of wireless ad hoc networks among aircraft for enhanced situational awareness. Under this multihop broadcast concept, an aircraft would periodically broadcast not only its own state information, but also relay state information received from neighboring aircraft from time to time. In this paper, a basic architecture of such an airborne ad hoc network is established. The relationship between network connectivity and information reachability, which accounts for information latency and depends on transmission protocols, is discussed. Two general performance criteria are introduced that measure the connectivity performance of an airborne network subject to a specified maximum number of hops in the network. The first metric is the ratio of the total coverage area of a network cluster over that of a single aircraft. The second metric is the number of aircraft each individual aircraft can connect to within the network cluster. For a given traffic scenario, the best, the worst, and the average values of these performance criteria for an airborne network are obtained via numerical simulations. Three representative types of traffic scenarios are considered: a one-dimensional flight stream, two streams merging into one, and randomly distributed traffic over a horizontal region. In all cases, aircraft positions are checked against the conflict-free requirements. Simulation results indicate that the connectivity of the proposed airborne ad hoc network is always better than that of the non-relay scheme. Overall, the proposed concept offers great flexibilities through the use of different transmission protocols and maximizes the benefits of a given digital link.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2nd AIAA "Unmanned Unlimited" Conference and Workshop and Exhibit
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc.
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003
Externally publishedYes
Event2nd AIAA "Unmanned Unlimited" Conference and Workshop and Exhibit 2003 - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Sep 15 2003Sep 18 2003


Other2nd AIAA "Unmanned Unlimited" Conference and Workshop and Exhibit 2003
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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